I was a bit surprised to see this snake swim by last night at John’s Pass. Sadly, after much fruitless searching, I still haven’t any idea exactly what it is. It certainly looked like a capable swimmer that knew how to hunt for food. Did you see it bump the algal clump (in the middle of the video), in an attempt to dislodge any hiding prey?
According to my research, there are not any sea snakes native to the Atlantic Ocean (and thereby, the Gulf of Mexico). Though there have been sightings of sea kraits and Yellow-bellied Sea Snakes in the past few years.
One hypothesis suggests that ships are responsible for these new visitors. It is possible that the snakes were suctioned up with ballast water in other tropical waters and then accidentally released here when the weight was no longer needed. There is documentation that other species have been introduced in this manner.
No matter what it is or how it got here, it certainly looked quite at home!